He may not be well-known yet but UFC bantamweight Renan Barao is clearly on his way to becoming a star after his successful showing against Urijah Faber at UFC 149. Here are three reasons the young Brazilian is on his way to becoming a household name…
3) Victory over Faber
On July 21 2012 a man that some of the more casual MMA fans may not have even heard of before Zuffa began promoting UFC 149, stepped into the Octagon with fan favorite Faber. The match would become one that would cement Barao as more than just an average up-and-comer. In five rounds Barao controlled the action against Faber and while the performance wasn’t one that kept it out of the judge’s hands- it was one that showed a methodical game plan and gave Barao (now 31-1 overall) a decisive victory over “The California Kid”.
2) Unbeaten in 30 straight fights
In 2005, George W. Bush was still in office, a gallon of gas was $2.50 on average across the country, and the debut of the Playstation 3 game console was still over a month away. Oh yeah, this was also the last time Barao lost an MMA bout. If that’s not amazing enough it was his first fight and he’s been going strong ever since. The only other match up that Barao’s been a part of that didn’t end with his hand raised was a 2007 bout that ended in a No Contest.
1) Interim Bantamweight Champ
By defeating Faber, Barao has secured a coveted opportunity indeed; turning the UFC Bantamweight Interim title into an opportunity to face Dominick Cruz (19-1 overall) who is currently rehabbing a torn ACL. When confronted with the possibility of taking on someone other than Cruz, Barao responded by saying; “It’s not up to me to decide who I fight next. It’s up to the UFC, and I’m an employee of the UFC. I’ll fight anyone,” said Barao. “Cruz is a great champ and athlete, but my strategy will be up to my coach to decide. What I can say is that I will train as hard as I can, just like I did for this fight.”
Regardless of what the future holds for Barao one thing is certain; with 66% of his fights ending in a finish due to strikes or a submission and one of the longest consecutive win streaks in MMA history people will be watching and time will tell if Renan Barao can continue to ride the wave of success that has carried him this far in the world of MMA.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC